Thank you to the workers as we face the hard times

Apr 09, 2020

The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned this week will be the hardest and most challenging as the COVID-19 virus sweeps the nation.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment and our 9/11 moment only it’s not going to be localized, it’s going to be happening all over the country,” he said.

In Maine, our toughest challenges may still lie down the road as this has been more severe in New York and other parts of the nation, but we have been affected and many of us have loved ones in those places who are suffering. We have talked to people locally who have already faced the crushing loss of a loved one dying from this illness.

We will continue to strive to provide you with the best information in the newspaper and on our VillageSoup sites online.

We also find this has been a time of gaining perspective. Some of us have pondered the fact that we took many things for granted in our normal daily lives before, and when and if things return to normal, we suspect many people will have a new world view.

We also are inspired by the selfless actions of many in our community, the essential workers, who toil on in the face of a dangerous illness. We appreciate every day our police, our firefighters, our paramedics, doctors and nurses on the front lines.

Another group also stands out, being the workers in our local stores and supermarkets who have kept food and other needed products available for our needs.

These are people who we maybe did not think about very often before, although we said hello to them every day at the supermarket. In many cases, of course, they are our family members and neighbors.

Unlike doctors and nurses, they probably never expected to end up on the front lines of a war against a virus, serving the public knowing they are putting themselves at risk to do so.

So we would ask community members to join us in saying thank you to the supermarket and other business workers who have been keeping us going. We see and appreciate your hard work and dedication.

Times like these pull us in two conflicting directions. Adversity and fear can bring out the best in people and the worst. We have seen great works of kindness in our communities. Local groups have organized to make protective masks, to check on neighbors, to provide for people’s needs. As in many other situations, the Midcoast has proved itself to be a true community in that we show concern for one another and serve each other.

We would ask that everyone be respectful and slow to respond with outrage or anger as things get tough. We know there is a strong concern about people from out of state coming to Maine during this pandemic, but we ask people to refrain from taking any actions against people. We must remember that when this is over, we are a community that earns its living in part welcoming people from away to visit us. Beyond that, it is easy to look at a license plate and think you know the situation of the people who own it, but really, every situation needs to be looked at individually and in detail. Until you know the whole story, do not judge another.

Our challenges come around Easter and Passover, and this has been a tough time for our faith community, who for the most part, cannot attend services at their houses of worship. We have started a new column, Midcoast Inspiration, a space that allows faith leaders to reach out to the community with messages and prayers in this tough time. Email News Director Dan Dunkle at ddunkle@villagesoup.com if you would like to participate in this column, which is open to all faiths.

The Queen of England gave a rare speech online this week and had several worthwhile things to say to her people that we think might be of value for us as well.

"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again,” she said, according to the BBC.

"Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it," she added.

She also stressed the value of self-discipline and resolve — and said she hopes that, in the future, everyone would "be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

Wise words.

Stay safe, stay in touch, and be kind to yourselves and each other.

 

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